Amanda Knox Is Like 'Jessica Rabbit'

Amanda Knox at her appeal hearing in Perugia over the murder of Meredith Kercher

Amanda Knox listens intently to evidence during the appeal hearing

9:53pm UK, Tuesday September 27, 2011

Nick Pisa, in Perugia

Jailed Amanda Knox has been likened to the sexy cartoon character ''Jessica Rabbit'' - just 24 hours after being labelled a "satanic she-devil".

Knox was not a maneater, nor a "femme fatale", but rather a faithful young woman with morals, a defence lawyer told the appeal hearing in Perugia.

The battle of Knox's character has been a key issue throughout the controversial case following her conviction for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, 21.

A verdict in the appeal could be delivered as early as Saturday.

Amanda Knox has been transformed into a Venus in furs, femme fatale, obsessed with decadent literature and sex - but instead of the man eater she has been portrayed as, she is a faithful woman - the comparison would be Jessica Rabbit - between these two youngsters there was tenderness, nothing else.

Lawyer Giulia Bongiorno

Miss Kercher was found dead four years ago, semi-naked and with her throat cut.

She was discovered in her bedroom in a house she shared with Knox and two other women.

Knox has denied any involvement and is appealing against her conviction and jail sentence of 26 years.

Questions over the reliability of DNA evidence have led to prosecutors relying heavily on circumstantial evidence in the case.

Amanda Knox arriving in court

Knox arriving at court where she has been described as 'satanic'

They have built up a damning picture of Knox and her co-accused and former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, who was also found guilty and sentenced to 25 years.

Today, Giulia Bongiorno, who is representing Sollecito, began her passionate defence by saying there was nothing that connected her client to the murder.

She said:''The minimal amount of evidence was initially on Knox, and then it was all transferred onto him.

"There are those who when they marry get a family, he instead got linked with a crime, but there is nothing even on Amanda.''

Raffaele Sollecito

Court was told that Knox and Sollecito (pictured) had a 'tender' relationship

She went on: ''Amanda Knox has been transformed into a Venus in furs, femme fatale, obsessed with decadent literature and sex.

"But, instead of the maneater she has been portrayed as, she is a faithful woman - the comparison would be Jessica Rabbit. Between these two youngsters there was tenderness, nothing else.''

Cartoon "sex symbol" Jessica Rabbit features in the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit and is portrayed as a buxom, sultry singer - with morals.

In the film, the character was voiced by Kathleen Turner and her hit line is: ''I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way.''

Ms Bongiorno added: "These two, whether they are convicted or cleared, will always be remembered for this case - he gregarious, she the protagonist."

Patrick Lumumba at the Meredith Kercher trial in 2009

Patrick Lumumba was wrongly accused over the murder

She went on to describe the case as ''Amanda-centric''.

She also was critical of the questioning of Knox by police, pointing out once again that she was a young American who barely knew any Italian.

Ms Bongiorno said Knox had been interrogated all night without any proper legal representation.

She had eventually succumbed through tiredness to police insistence that she knew about the murder.

Meredith Kercher

Meredith Kercher was found with her throat slit in Perugia

Ms Bongiorno added it was this physical exhaustion that had made her wrongly name bar owner Patrick Lumumba as the suspect.

The naming led to Mr Lumumba being arrested and spending two weeks in jail before being freed.

Ms Bongiorno - one of Italy's most respected lawyers - also said that there was no evidence whatsoever linking her client to the room where Miss Kercher was found.

As she spoke, Knox and Sollecito listened intently. Their family members sat close by.

Amanda Knox in court for her appeal

Knox has disputed forensic evidence provided at her trial

The Jessica Rabbit comparison came hours after Mr Lumumba's lawyer, Carlo Pacelli, described Knox as a ''diabolical, demonic, satanic, she-devil".

He added that Knox was ''obsessed with sex and alcohol (...) muddy on the outside and dirty on the inside''.

The verbal attack has been strongly condemned by Knox's father Curt who said it had been ''over the top and unnecessary".

Knox and Sollecito have insisted they were at his home all night when the murder took place.

They have based their appeal on an independent court report that has dismissed the original police forensic investigaton.

Meredith, from Coulsdon, Surrey, was in Perugia as part of her Leeds University course and had only been in Italy for two months before she was murdered.

A third defendant, small-time drug dealer Rudy Guede, an immigrant from the Ivory Coast, was also jailed in connection with the killing.

Knox's defence will begin summing up on Thursday. She and Sollecito will also address the court before it retires to consider its verdict, which is expected next week.